Make your friends and family relive Stephen King's IT by donning a Pennywise the Clown mask this Halloween.
Clowns and Fear in a Nutshell
Clowns bring joy and laughter to millions the world over, but not always. Sure, they get us smiling by piling into tiny red cars, hitting each other with pies and spraying water from flowers, but there is an underlying fear associated with them.
Why is it that something that is supposed to be fun and lighthearted scares so many people? The fear of clowns, known as coulrophobia, is believed to manifest itself at the infant stage when a child first begins to recognize facial features. The exaggerated facial expressions that are painted on a clown's face can easily scare a child. This irrational fear can follow the child to adulthood.
Being scared of clown can also be due to the setting the clown is in. Going to the circus and seeing the clowns there can be very funny, but a clown coming to your door at night could scare anyone. Lon Chaney, Sr. summed it up best: "There is nothing funny about a clown in the moonlight."
Films, TV and popular culture enjoy using clowns as purveyers of evil and sadisitic tendencies. Kevin Smith's Clerks II has a billboard warning of an evil clown. An episode of Seinfeld featured a psychopathic clown stalking Elaine. Batman has the Joker and Stephen King's IT has Pennywise; a sick, sadistic, shape-shifting clown that tormented and haunted seven children. Arguably the scariest evil clown in the business, Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker gave him a run for his money in cruelty and sadism.
Pennywise the Clown Mask: Putting Your Evil Face Forwad
There are hundreds of traditional clown and evil clown masks on the market but no officially licensed Pennywise the clown mask for retail purchase. With so many masks, and no literal Pennywise among them, you can make your own by using one of the other clown masks. You may not be able to buy an exact replica but you can do a job dressing up another one.
Begin with an evil clown mask from a costume retailer. There are some clown masks that look remarkably like Pennywise:
Pennywise Mask: This Pennywise mask runs around $60.
Keep in mind that you can use grease paint on all latex masks, so if you find one you like that has the general shape and look of Pennywise, go for it! Get simple clown grease paint and some pictures of Pennywise from one of the many fan sites, Google images or the Internet Movie Database.
Another solution to getting your hands on a Pennywise mask is to use prosthetic appliances. These pieces fit on your face like a glove and you can eat and drink with them on your face. They are also paintable with grease paint and reusable. There are two great clown prosthetics that are really similar:
Value Horror Makeup Kit: All you need for this prosthetics is spirit gum and greasepaint to touch it up to fit the characteristics of Pennywise.
The Clown: By far the best prosthetic on the market for Pennywise likeness. This mask comes unpainted, so matching the makeup of Pennywise will be easy.
The Other Pieces of Pennywise
The trick to Tim Curry, (from Rocky Horror Picture Show fame) playing Pennywise was that the costume was not over the top. He looked like a normal clown, though his voice and mannerisms pulled off the shape shifting Pennywise. Attitude and mask alone are just a part of the creepy puzzle.
Pennywise had gnarly teeth that could easily rip out some poor persons' throat. Some of the latex masks come with sharp teeth that are rubber. When wearing a prosthetic you will need to furnish your own set of teeth. Pennywise has two rows of sharp fangs, if you visit one of the two sites below you can find high quality dentures that will fit the bill from Dental Distortions.
Besides the teeth, the wig is very distinguishable. Pennywise had bright red, puffy hair that was balding down the center. The wig may be the toughest part of the costume to find. Here is one sure source: My Costumes Wigs
In order to get the full appeal of Pennywise one needs an actual clown costume. There is no need to go over the top scary as Tim Curry, as was previously mentioned, Tim went realistic. Any costume shop (either online or locally) should carry them. The coloring isn't as important as the authenticity of a genuine clown outfit. Add a pair of white gloves, big red shoes and a professional red nose (made out of latex and not sponge) and your Pennywise costume will be spookishly complete.